I am an intern with Teach For Green (TFG). TFG under its School Support Program gave me an opportunity to learn a new skill – ‘Teaching’. This was equally made possible by Prerna, Yashi and Nitika, Teach For India fellows with the school.
My first day was at Sarvodaya Vidyalaya No1, Mehrauli, Delhi, an all-boys school. I entered the class and students wished me with smile and a loud chant of “Good morning didi”. I was nervous as it was a first for me. At the same time I was confused about medium of teaching- Hindi or English. I decided to go on with Hindi thinking they will feel more comfortable. According to the planned schedule, I started the class by telling them about energy, its importance & types. Boys were attentive throughout the class. They answered my every question on renewable and non-renewable energy, types of energy etc. The questions raised by them mainly were on different types of energy like kinetic, geothermal etc. and their usage. I used diagrams to show them how energy is transferred from one form to another. Later while teaching them concept of solar system and solar energy, I was surprised to know that along with the bookish knowledge, they are up-to-date with the news also. Upon mentioning Pluto, they already knew the reason why Pluto is no more considered to be a planet in our solar system. I taught them some interesting facts about planets. On my second day at the same school, I explained the concepts of day & night, seasons and the need to study environmental science. I believe that the students should be given an active role in the learning process .So I and Prerna planned gave them some activity. We divided students in multiple groups and asked them to discuss and list various reasons for our environment depletion and the measures to stop it. This made the students to think deeply.
My third day was at Hakikat Rai Sarvodaya Kanya Vidyalaya, Khanpur village, Delhi. This was an all-girls school. The smile on their faces was like the smiling sun on a clear summer sky. Since this was my second school I was even more prepared for teaching them than I was the first time. They wished me “good morning ma’am” and I took 5 seconds time to realise that yes, I am their teacher and they will call me as Ma’am only. When I asked for their interpretation of green, every one of them had different answers and by listening to their responses and seeing their confidence levels I was becoming more eager to teach them. I started the class by introducing energy, its sources and types. I sat with them and discussed why there is a need to study environmental science. I asked them to tell me some incidents or stories which relate to our topics. A girl named Shweta narrated an incident where she tried to stop her senior from throwing the wrapper on the ground and requested to throw it in the dustbin. However senior refused. But when she went to the teacher, her senior had to budge and throw it in the bin. Sakshi & Jakiya also narrated stories of a postman and a sweeper where both of them taught lessons to the people who pollute our environment. Such kinds of responses from those little girls were overwhelming. They asked me about my dream, my hobbies and questions like how did i come in contact with teach for green and why did I feel the need to teach and so on. Such questions really help in strengthening the teacher- student relation and I really enjoyed this. I consider those girls as my siblings. I also gave them interesting homework for our next class. There was a 20 minutes lunch break between the class so instead of going to the staffroom I preferred sitting in the classroom only , because I wanted to interact with these boys, wanted to know about their lifestyle, what do they do at home, situation of power supply etc. My main aim is to evoke the willingness to learn in these children. I was really impressed after knowing that some of the boys from the class are in a dance crew and their performance is to be broadcasted on national television at this age. They are good not only in academics but in extracurricular activities too. After lunch break got over I made them draw water cycle and food chain and then I explained it to the whole class.
I feel that the values and manners which the school is teaching to the students should be appreciated. In the education system, teaching manners should be the first priority. They can gain knowledge at any age but manners can only be taught in the childhood which will stay with them throughout their lives. Now that they are aware of all the basics related to our environment and energy, I will pan little higher concepts for them. This tells us that they knew the basic concepts of energy generation and about our environmental processes. I think that students should be taught about how this energy is used in real life, like how hydro energy is used in dams and how electricity is generated through dams. With much feedback from students, TFG will modify the course material to have a better impact on students and unstill greater curiosity in students.